I would generally consider myself a meticulous person.
I prefer to weigh ingredients over measuring them with cups and spoons (which is ironic considering that I always share my recipes in cups and teaspoons, I know. But I acknowledge that most people prefer to bake sans kitchen scale, so I try to convert my recipes based on reader preferences. You’re welcome.)
I always read through a recipe several times before starting a baking project.
You could relive an entire day of my life just by referencing my Google calendar.
I make detailed mental notes about dietary preferences when I meet someone for the first time so that I can tailor any future food-related activities to that individual (which is thoughtful and in no way creepy).
You can see why it pains me to say that I completely overlooked a major detail in making this cake.
Let me preface this story by saying that one of my life mottos is “In Smitten Kitchen I trust.” Deb has never steered me wrong. I’ve made hundreds of recipes from her blog, and I’ve never been disappointed. The woman just gets me. She shares amazing recipes that are well-written and easy to follow, and they always produce dishes that everyone is more than happy to eat.
This is it, guys. Our season has finally arrived. The season of over-the-top cookies and showstopper cakes is here, and I couldn’t. be. more. excited.
I’ve been working on my Christmas cookie list for months. My pantry is filled to the brim with flour and sugar and sprinkles and chocolate and sprinkles and nuts and oh, did I mention the sprinkles?
I have desserts planned for every dinner party, playdate, and office celebration.
And this year, I’m officially kicking off my holiday baking with a bûche de noël.
For years, I’ve admired/been intimidated by this traditional French Christmas cake. Let me just say this up front: this cake is INVOLVED.
If you’re looking for a quick, festive dessert for a casual holiday get-together, THIS IS NOT THE CAKE FOR YOU. Maybe go with a dozen peppermint mocha cupcakes or a great pumpkin pie.
But if you want that quintessential Christmas dessert, one that’s festive and unique and shows the ones you love just how special they are to you, this is your cake.
This cake is WORK. It has a million steps, and I promise that you’ll dirty every single bowl in your kitchen. Twice. But that’s also what I love about it. It’s a labor of love.
Ready? Deep breaths. You can do this!
I can’t say that I’ve ever sought out a recipe for a spectacular bundt cake.
Three-layer chocolate cake? Sure. The best pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust? You know I’ve spent hours perusing Pinterest for that baby.
But a bundt cake? Never.
I have several reasons for the bundt cake deficit in my life.
A. I do not own a bundt pan. I suppose it goes without saying, but I see absolutely no reason to hunt down recipes for a cake that I cannot physically make in my own kitchen. And when you spend the majority of your adult life living in kitchens smaller than your bathroom, bundt pans are not a luxury you have the cabinet space to afford.
B. I am not a huge fan of bundt cakes. I grew up in the Midwest, where bundt cakes reign supreme at the church social, second only to the casserole, forever and amen. And while the neighborhood ladies dutifully baked their bundt cakes with the devotion of a 1950’s housewife, I never actually tasted one that was worth a second bite. Based on childhood experience, “bundt cake” is synonymous with “dry, bland cake with a hole in the center.”